Home » Colombia » Colombia – Retail and Consumer Issues

Colombia – Retail and Consumer Issues

Colombia is a country located in South America, known for its diverse culture, rich history, and beautiful landscapes. It is also home to a thriving retail industry, with numerous shopping centers, supermarkets, and local markets catering to consumers’ needs. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common retail and consumer issues in Colombia.

Opening Hours and Forms of Payment

The typical opening hours of shops in Colombia are from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm, Monday through Saturday, and from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm on Sundays. However, some shops may have different opening hours, depending on their location and type of business.

When it comes to forms of payment, most shops in Colombia accept cash, but credit and debit cards are becoming increasingly popular. Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted cards in the country, but American Express and Diners Club are also accepted at some locations. Mobile payments, such as PSE and Nequi, are also gaining popularity among consumers.

Major Supermarkets

Colombia has several major supermarket chains, including Éxito, Carrefour, Jumbo, and Metro. These supermarkets offer a wide range of products, from fresh produce to household items, and are typically open seven days a week.

Éxito is one of the largest supermarket chains in Colombia, offering a vast selection of products at competitive prices. They also have their own brand of products, which are often cheaper than other well-known brands.

Carrefour is a French supermarket chain that offers a wide range of products, from fresh produce to electronics and clothing. They also have their own brand of products, which are often cheaper than other well-known brands.


Get Our Best Articles Every Month!

Get our free moving abroad email course AND our top stories in your inbox every month


Unsubscribe any time. We respect your privacy - read our privacy policy.


Jumbo is a Chilean supermarket chain that focuses on providing fresh, high-quality products. They have a wide selection of fresh produce, meat, and dairy products, as well as an extensive range of imported products.

Metro is a German supermarket chain that offers a wide range of products, from fresh produce to electronics and home appliances. They also have their own brand of products, which are often cheaper than other well-known brands.

Online Shopping

Online shopping is becoming increasingly popular in Colombia, with more and more consumers turning to the internet to make their purchases. Some of the most popular online shopping websites in Colombia include MercadoLibre, Linio, and Falabella.

MercadoLibre is the largest online retailer in Colombia, offering a wide range of products, from electronics to household items and beauty products. They also offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount.

Linio is an online retailer that offers a wide range of products, from electronics to fashion and beauty products. They offer fast and reliable delivery, as well as a flexible returns policy.

Falabella is a Chilean retailer that offers a wide range of products, from fashion to home appliances and electronics. They have a user-friendly website and offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount.

Shops for Expats

While there are no specific shops in Colombia that cater exclusively to expats, there are several places where you can find specific international products. These include:

  • Carulla: This supermarket chain offers a selection of imported products, including food, beverages, and cosmetics.
  • Expatshop: This online retailer specializes in products for expats, including food, household items, and electronics. They offer fast and reliable delivery throughout Colombia.
  • La 14: This supermarket chain offers a selection of imported products, including food, beverages, and cosmetics. They also have a loyalty program for frequent shoppers.

Consumer Rights

As a consumer in Colombia, you have several rights that are protected by law. These include the right to:

  • Receive clear information about the products being sold, including their characteristics and price

    • Receive a receipt for your purchase
    • Return defective products within a reasonable amount of time
    • Receive a refund or replacement for defective products
    • Cancel a contract within five days of purchase
    • Be protected from false advertising and misleading claims

    If you have an issue with a product or service, you can contact the Superintendencia de Industria y Comercio (SIC) for assistance. The SIC is a government agency that regulates consumer protection and competition in Colombia. They offer advice and information on a range of consumer issues, as well as legal support and representation in court.

    You can contact the SIC via their website (www.sic.gov.co) or by phone at +57 1 587 0000. They also have regional offices in several cities throughout Colombia, including Bogotá, Medellín, and Cali.

    In addition to the SIC, there are several other consumer organizations in Colombia that you can contact for assistance. These include:

    • Asociación Colombiana de Consumidores: This organization represents the interests of Colombian consumers and offers support and advice on a range of consumer issues. You can contact them via their website (www.ascolconsumidores.org) or by phone at +57 1 381 6400.

    • Defensoría del Consumidor Financiero: This organization provides assistance to consumers who have issues with financial institutions, such as banks and credit card companies. You can contact them via their website (www.defensoriafinanciera.gov.co) or by phone at +57 1 592 3497.

    • Federación de Consumidores de Colombia: This organization represents the interests of Colombian consumers and offers support and advice on a range of consumer issues. You can contact them via their website (www.federaciondeconsumidores.org) or by phone at +57 1 621 2156.

    In conclusion, Colombia has a thriving retail industry, with several major supermarket chains, local markets, and online retailers offering a wide range of products to consumers. While there are no specific shops for expats, there are several places where you can find specific international products. As a consumer in Colombia, you have several rights that are protected by law, and there are several organizations that you can contact for assistance if you have an issue with a product or service.


Latest Videos

In this short video, we dive into the significant health care updates and changes happening globally in 2024. From Germany's insurance cost adjustments to Cyprus's renewed COVID-19 precautions, we cover the essential news you need to know.  Germany's Health Insurance Update:  Starting in 2024, residents in Germany will see a slight increase in their health insurance costs, with a 0.1% rise to a maximum of 1.7%. This adjustment aims to expand coverage for medical care not currently included in statutory health insurance, such as select dental treatments, IVF, and early cancer screenings.  COVID-19 Measures Reintroduced in Cyprus:  With over 3000 new COVID-19 cases, Cyprus is stepping up its game by reintroducing health measures. Requirements now include proof of a negative COVID-19 test for entry into various facilities, emphasizing the importance of vaccination, especially for the elderly, to combat the evolving virus strains.  Free Health Trials in Trieste, Italy:  Trieste launches an initiative for free health screenings, including echocardiograms and blood tests, focusing on preventive care against non-communicable diseases. This move underscores the city's commitment to improving public health through early detection and prevention.  Spain's New Health Advice App:  Madrid introduces a groundbreaking app offering reliable health advice to counteract the widespread misinformation online. This app, part of the 'Madrid Te Cuida' initiative, will guide users to accurate information, from diet tips to medical queries, ensuring the advice is vetted by health professionals.  Expat Satisfaction with Healthcare in Mexico:  A study reveals that expat retirees in Mexico are largely content with the healthcare quality and costs, with many citing significant savings compared to the United States without compromising on care quality. This insight sheds light on the growing trend of healthcare tourism and relocation for medical reasons.  Stay tuned as we unpack these updates, providing you with the insights and implications of these healthcare changes. Whether it's the impact on your wallet or the quality of care you can expect, we've got you covered in this comprehensive overview of health care in 2024. Don't forget to like, share, and subscribe for more health news around the globe!

In this short video, we dive into the significant health care updates and changes happening globally in 2024. From Germany's insurance cost adjustments to Cyprus's renewed COVID-19 precautions, we cover the essential news you need to know.

Germany's Health Insurance Update:

Starting in 2024, residents in Germany will see a slight increase in their health insurance costs, with a 0.1% rise to a maximum of 1.7%. This adjustment aims to expand coverage for medical care not currently included in statutory health insurance, such as select dental treatments, IVF, and early cancer screenings.

COVID-19 Measures Reintroduced in Cyprus:

With over 3000 new COVID-19 cases, Cyprus is stepping up its game by reintroducing health measures. Requirements now include proof of a negative COVID-19 test for entry into various facilities, emphasizing the importance of vaccination, especially for the elderly, to combat the evolving virus strains.

Free Health Trials in Trieste, Italy:

Trieste launches an initiative for free health screenings, including echocardiograms and blood tests, focusing on preventive care against non-communicable diseases. This move underscores the city's commitment to improving public health through early detection and prevention.

Spain's New Health Advice App:

Madrid introduces a groundbreaking app offering reliable health advice to counteract the widespread misinformation online. This app, part of the 'Madrid Te Cuida' initiative, will guide users to accurate information, from diet tips to medical queries, ensuring the advice is vetted by health professionals.

Expat Satisfaction with Healthcare in Mexico:

A study reveals that expat retirees in Mexico are largely content with the healthcare quality and costs, with many citing significant savings compared to the United States without compromising on care quality. This insight sheds light on the growing trend of healthcare tourism and relocation for medical reasons.

Stay tuned as we unpack these updates, providing you with the insights and implications of these healthcare changes. Whether it's the impact on your wallet or the quality of care you can expect, we've got you covered in this comprehensive overview of health care in 2024. Don't forget to like, share, and subscribe for more health news around the globe!

YouTube Video UCB21b-C4O2aXm7H18_GsXMQ_nC_Fs6gU22U

Expat Focus International Healthcare Update January 2024

Expat Focus 31 January 2024 10:36 am

This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Important: No API Key Entered.

Many features are not available without adding an API Key. Please go to the YouTube Feed settings page to add an API key after following these instructions.